Scientific Research & Self-Development Activism
I wanted to write about embodied cognition and a bit about some research that Jean-Luc Velay and his colleagues did on the connection between learning and doing, in this case, learning Chinese letters either by typing on a computer or writing them by hand.
In the 17th century, Rene Descartes wrote the Cartesian Dualism, saying that the body and the mind can not be seen as one. The mind (reason) and the body (senses) worked together, but in the end, was two separate things. This view has somewhat been the line of thought in the western world since.
Embodied cognition is the thought that the mind and body is one, and that the body isn`t just a vessel for the mind.
The experiment Velay did was to have two groups. Both where to learn letters in a new language (Chinese). One group wrote down the letter by hand, the other group had a specially designed computer keyboards. Both groups learned the letters and three and six weeks later both groups where tested to see how much they remembered. And as you`ve probably guessed, the group that wrote by hand did significantly better than the keyboard group.
They took the groups MR scans of them. It showed that the group writing by hand had more brain activity while while writing down the letters, thus creating stronger neural connections and remembering better.
Nothing of this is very mind.blowing, and the experiment did mostly just confirm what we already believed. But i would also like to hear some of your thoughts about this matter, and some good links would be appreciated also:)
Just a thought:
I prefer writing by hand, not sure why. I'm no neuroscientist, but when I'm writing music, it's more enjoyable and somewhat easier to be creative. It's almost like your 'creative self' just enjoys seeing what it has created. Your own hand writing accentuates your art.
i`m no neuroscientist either:) But on an open sheet, it`s very easy to be somewhat creative. I use this myself often when going to school, writing down in small brain-maps or making drawings makes me remember and understand much better than just reading or listening to the teacher.
On a computer it`s more difficult to put in things like a small mark or a little drawing. takes more time there.
Reiteration: It's like there's a little more 'you' in it.
Yea, I get the same way when I'm drawing. Doing digital drawings on the computer makes me feel very detached from the piece itself although I'm much better at it now than before. I often feel more comfortable actually drawing real life drawings or painting things with real paints. There is a better connection between me and the artwork that i'm creating.
In my philosophy class the instructor suggested highlighting text and taking notes in the book. Otherwise you are not really reading it. I tried this today with one of the philosophy books I have and I do think that I was more engaged with what was written than by just passively reading it.
Part of cognitive therapy relies on physically writing stuff down. It entrenches ideas, like a neural-concrete, in your brain. The act of writing really hardwires a human brain.
Part of cognitive therapy requires the physical act of writing. If you want to rewire your brain - write stuff down. Your brain likes words, that's why it's so big. It really likes the technical, physical act of writing words down. Humans are amazing word/language creatures.